Efficient Solea® CO2 Laser Boosts Practice’s Productivity and Growth
Jeffrey E. Rohde, DDS, says the impact of Convergent Dental’s Solea® CO2 laser has been transformational for his Santa Barbara, CA, practice. While Rohde hasn’t yet completely discarded his drill, he finds being able to perform 95% of his procedures without the stress of doing injections and not having to deal with the limitations of using anesthesia has vastly improved his efficiency and production.
Use of the Solea laser, which is FDA cleared for hard, soft, and osseous tissue procedures, has also expanded the number and types of procedures he can now offer his patients during a single appointment, Rohde says. He attributes much of the practice growth he has experienced—new patients per month have more than doubled with some advertising—to the patient experience offered using Solea.
“The biggest thing with Solea is that I can do a filling without having to numb the patient,” Rohde explains. But, he adds, Solea enables him to do much more than fillings unfettered by the need to numb and limit the treatment area to the anesthetized quadrant.
“I can use it for nearly any class 1 through class 6 type cavity preparation,” he says. “The technology enables me to complete fillings and composite removal. In addition, for amalgam removals, Solea enables me to outline the tooth structure, establish an analgesic effect, and go in with a high-speed handpiece to remove the amalgam without anesthesia.” And, Rohde adds, because Solea is FDA cleared for use on bone tissue, he can also remove bone during extractions or for crown lengthening to achieve a proper margin.
As for soft-tissue procedures, including frenectomies, fibroma removal, and gingival recontouring, Rohde says Solea allows him to do, “everything you could do with a scalpel, but with better tissue response, better healing, and more precise cutting—all with no bleeding.” He notes it serves as a handpiece that enables him to do periodontal surgery without opening the gums. Further, “Because of the antibacterial action of the laser, we’re not just cutting the area, we’re also treating it.”
While Solea can be used on patients of all ages, because it enhances patient comfort Rohde says it would be worth the investment just for treating children “so they don’t grow into adults who are afraid to go to the dentist.” Parents witnessing their children’s pain-free fillings, he adds, often become patients themselves, and frequently speak positively to others about their experience. “Patients almost never comment on how ‘great’ a drilling experience is, but it’s now rare when a patient doesn’t comment on his or her experience with laser treatment,” he explains. “We’re creating a better patient experience, which enables us to build trust and leads to higher rates of treatment acceptance.”
Using the laser is safer than a conventional handpiece, Rohde suggests, because it not only stops immediately when disabled, but the beam is almost incapable of causing a quick accidental injury. “Even if the beam incidentally touches part of the tooth or tongue, it won’t cause any damage such as bleeding, and the patient won’t feel anything.”
Rohde, who is a Solea trainer himself, stresses the hands-on nature of the Solea training program. “The entire goal of training is to provide a high-value, high-yield day to clinicians so they can return to their own office and start using the laser.” Training includes live patient demos, discussions on marketing, gaining employee buy-in, and how to maintain the equipment.
Convergent Dental, he adds, also provides a “ramp-up plan” with a sequence of recommended procedures. “It’s set up so users can start with easier procedures and, as they become proficient, they progress to more challenging procedures.
All in all, Rohde says both he and his patients are profiting from the Solea experience. “I’m more efficient in my practice. I’m seeing more people and doing more procedures, and patients are happier with the work being done.”
Convergent Dental, Inc.
2 Vision Drive
Natick, MA 01760